Because SGS Shenzhen provides IT services for several branches and thousands of users, it requires a simple, secure way to safeguard applications and quickly rebuild systems in case of disaster. PlateSpin Forge® from Micro Focus is the centralized disaster-recovery solution SGS Shenzhen needs. By eliminating a manual server rebuild process, the company saves days of work and can now complete recovery almost instantly.
“PlateSpin Forge makes it easy to rebuild systems with just a few clicks of the mouse—so we will be able to react much more quickly if something goes wrong with our production environment.”
SGS Shenzhen is an IT services provider that manages the main data center for SGS Group in China. Its 30 IT professionals manage a wide range of Microsoft Windows applications and serve nearly 3,000 users across the country.
SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services is a Chinese subsidiary of the global SGS Group, which employs 8,000 people and operates more than 50 branches and dozens of laboratories.
SGS Shenzhen manages SGS Group’s data center, and with it, a wide range of Microsoft Windows applications for other SGS branches across China. These applications support SGS China’s core business—providing testing, inspection and certification services for China’s growing agriculture, minerals, petrochemical, industrial, consumer products, automotive and life-sciences sectors. The ability to quickly recover these systems in case of disaster is a top priority.
SGS Shenzhen’s existing manual data backup solution was complex and labor-intensive. The process could take up to three days and entailed maintaining a large amount of technical documentation for accurate rebuild and recovery.
The IT team at SGS Shenzhen’s IT team needed a better solution, so it began researching technologies that could accelerate recovery while keeping vital applications available even during disasters. It wasn’t sure any product could meet its requirements, but when SGS Shenzhen put PlateSpin Forge through rigorous tests, it became clear that this appliance would be an ideal solution.
“So far, we haven’t seen any other solutions in this field with the same degree of maturity as PlateSpin Forge,” said Mr. You, technical manager at SGS Shenzhen.
Testing gave SGS Shenzhen confidence in the solution’s resilience. PlateSpin Forge is a hardware appliance that leverages virtualization technology to create exact copies of protected server workloads as virtual machines. To ensure that backups will function correctly when needed, they can be powered up in the virtual recovery sandbox environment, separate from production, and tested independently, with no impact to the source servers.
SGS Shenzhen purchased PlateSpin Forge with the capacity to support 10 server workloads—enough to provide a complete disaster recovery solution for the company’s most critical Windows applications and databases. If SGS Shenzhen’s server estate grows, the company can purchase additional licenses to support up to 25 server workloads on the same appliance.
“It was important for us to find a solution quickly to protect our systems against disaster as soon as possible,” said Mr. You. “PlateSpin Forge gave us a solution that could be implemented immediately, without making major changes to our existing infrastructure. The fact that we can easily expand the solution and add more server workloads in the future is an added bonus.”
When the solution goes live, SGS Shenzhen plans to run a test disaster recovery scenario every six months to demonstrate its effectiveness and prove that it can rapidly recover core systems in the event of a disaster.
SGS Shenzhen is confident that PlateSpin Forge will deliver the fast, simple disaster recovery process it needs. The solution will reduce server recovery from three days to a matter of minutes.
“The results of our testing of the solution have been very positive, and we are sure it will be a major improvement on our existing manual recovery process,” said Mr. You. “PlateSpin Forge makes it easy to rebuild systems with just a few clicks of the mouse—so we will be able to react much more quickly if something goes wrong with our production environment.”
PlateSpin Forge takes regular snapshots of the production servers and can act as a virtualized failover, allowing nearly immediate recovery. The solution also minimizes data loss. Instead of recovering to the previous night’s backup, as it could with most competing systems, SGS Shenzhen can use its snapshots to retrieve data that is much more recent. As a result, the IT team can improve its recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTO and RPO). By implementing PlateSpin Forge, SGS Shenzhen will minimize downtime and, therefore, minimize impact on thousands of business customers.